Seed World

Dividend VL orchard grass named 2014 Seed of the Year

Dividend VL Orchard Grass, 2014 Seed of the Year Winner

Dividend VL, an orchard grass variety, was named the 2014 Seed of the Year at the Tribute to Agricultural Excellence Luncheon at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

This variety is the latest maturing orchard grass ever introduced which has made it a key component in alfalfa forage mixtures. Dividend VL delivers a superior forage crop compared to traditional orchard grass varieties as a result of its very slow maturity progression that allows for a better match with alfalfa maturity at harvest. An alfalfa plus Divivend VL orchard grass mixture delivers more even maturity between species, a higher quality crop and greater flexibility with harvest timing in pasture and stored feed systems.

Developed by plant breeders, Dr. Stephen Bowley and Donna Hancock at the University of Guelph, with the parental cross made 1994, Dividend VL became commercially available in 2008 after rigorous testing through the Ontario Forage Crops Committee cultivar performance trials, and additional trials at the University of Guelph, Elora, ON.

Dividend VL breeder seed is maintained by the University of Guelph and multiplication and distribution of the predigreed seed is conducted by Quality Seeds Ltd. This variety is marketed broadly for forage production with end uses including pasture, dry hay and haylage.

Three other finalists for the east division of Seed of the Year were also recognized. These included DH 410SCN a soybean variety developed by Dr. Gary Ablett, Maple Glen soybean developed by Dr. Harvey Voldeng and Dr. Elroy Cober, and OAC Wallace soybean developed by Dr. Istvan Rajcan.

The Seed of the Year competition, a 10 year tradition,encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete.

The competition was designed by University of Guelph and SeCan, with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Additional sponsorship was provided by Canadian Seed Growers Association, Quality Seeds Ltd, Ontario Asparagus Growers, Ontario White Bean Producers, Canadian Seed Trade Association, Snobelen Farms, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Ontario Potato Board.

For more information, contact Martin Harry, SeCan (519) 423-6435; or Andrea Smith, Seed of the Year Student Coordinator